Manhattan is the center of the Marvel Universe and its citizens are used to looking up to see super human battles going on in the skies above them. That high-flying action is something pretty shocking and awe inspiring for the residents of San Francisco, a city whose super population is still growing.
This December, if San Franciscans look up they’ll be greeted by truly wondrous site, Daredevil, AKA recently relocated attorney Matt Murdock, battling the flying motorcycle-riding villain known as the Stunt-Master. The confrontation takes place in “Daredevil” #11-12 by writer Mark Waid and artist Chris Samnee. CBR News spoke with Waid about the Man Without Fear’s battle with the new Stunt-Master, what inspired it, and Murdock’s ongoing struggle with depression.
CBR News: Mark, let’s kick off by talking about one of the developments in the recently completed arc with the Purple Man’s children. In issue #10, the final chapter of the arc, you showed just how intense the depressive disorder Matt had been wrestling with is. Some of the quick research I did suggests that the symptoms of PTSD can be so debilitating that they can cause a depressive disorder to develop. Do you think this is something that developed from all the PTSD Matt has suffered from his time being Daredevil? Or do you think this is something that Matt has been wrestling with his entire life? How is Matt coping with his depression when “Daredevil” #11 begins?
Mark Waid: I tend to think — and your mileage may vary, this is just my approach — that depression is itself a biochemical condition. I don’t think in Matt’s case it’s a PTSD thing so much as a condition maybe passed down from his mother. Maybe. Regardless of its origins, it’s always there in Matt and it’s something he has to fight against every day. Some days, it’s barely a fight at all; other days, it’s debilitating. But to me, that’s what makes heroes of the Marvel characters — their ability to push against their inner demons and keep battling. What happened with the Purple Children is that they really tore at some of the scabs and scar tissue Matt’s built up over the last few years, opening up old wounds and dark places.
How is he dealing with this at the beginning of the next issue? Surprisingly well — it would seem. But keep reading.
Kristen McDuffie helps Matt deal with some of the personal demons the Purple Man’s children stirred up at the end of issue #10 . Just how important is she currently to Matt? When I think back on some of Matt’s past relationships it feels like his relationship with Kristen is one of the most healthy he’s been in. Do you think that’s true?
I sure hope so. Issue #12, however, has the potential to throw a big curve in their path. Something’s said that can’t be taken back, and it casts a whole new light on their relationship. That said, she seems to be very good for Matt. I sure hope that stays the case.
In issue #11 you kick off a new story that brings back Daredevil’s old foe Stunt-Master. Why did you want to bring him into the book? What do you find most interesting about Stunt-Master and his relationship with Matt? And I believe the last time we saw Stunt-Master he was actually a hero — what are his motives and can you say whether or not he’s up to something nefarious or heroic in the story?
Honestly? It all came out of one of Chris’ cover sketches. He just felt like drawing Stunt-Master one day, and I caught his enthusiasm. I love the idea that there’s another self-styled “Man Without Fear” running around San Francisco — and what we’ll find out is that it’s a new guy on the bike — Criss Angel on a motorcycle, if you will — and he’s holding a dark and terrible secret that requires Matt and the original Stunt-Master to unearth to save the lives of innocents.
I also understand while Daredevil is dealing with Stunt-Master his other foes will be making major moves. What can you tell us about what they’re up to in issues #11-12?
No one’s visibly active in those issues, but behind the scenes — ah, behind the scenes. Without spoiling anything, I encourage readers to go back to our fiftieth anniversary issue to pick up some clues.
You mentioned that this Stunt-Master story was born out of one of Chris’ cover sketches. Is it safe to say he’s having quite a bit of fun drawing this story.
Yes, he’s having a ball. We worked out something in issue #12 that I’ve been dying to do for years now — a full-out car chase. With a blind man behind the wheel.
Finally, it was recently announced that February’s “Daredevil” #13 is the opening chapter to, “Endgame,” the final “Daredevil” story by you and Chris. What can you tell us about the arc, and how it feels to be wrapping your four-year run on “Daredevil?
HA! Nice try, Goldfinger! But I’m not falling into your trap! Chris and I have much to say about this, but let’s just say for the moment that there’s news to come. Deal?
“Daredevil” #11 goes on sale Dec. 24 from Marvel Comics.